'Truly rock stars': The Chills get galactic namesake

A space rock now bears the name of a Dunedin rock band.

Astronomer and Otago Museum director Dr Ian Griffin has added the name The Chills to the stars.

Asteroid 49291, now known as Thechills, is somewhere out beyond Mars.

Dr Griffin declined to be interviewed yesterday but said he named asteroids he discovered to honour people he respected, or admired.

‘‘I just like some Dunedin musicians.’’

Yesterday, on social media he shared a link to Nasa’s small-body database lookup.

‘‘You can now watch @TheChills orbit the sun once every 1566 days,’’ he said.

Asteroid 53109 has already been named Martinphillipps after The Chills’ singer-songwriter Martin Phillipps.

Phillipps welcomed the news on Twitter.

‘‘Yes - we are truly rock stars,’’ he said. ‘‘The band are ‘over the moon’.

‘‘This is for all The Chills that have ever been - feel proud.’’

Earlier this year, Dr Griffin named an asteroid after former Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu chief executive the late Tahu Potiki, who died in 2019.



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